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When is a license required for housing renovations?

Are you thinking about buying a property and then renovating it to your liking? Do you dream of extending your home, but have doubts about whether you need a license? Or are you planning to start a business renovating houses? Currently, there are many cases that are exempt from licensing, here we help you understand all the improvements for which legal consent isn’t required:


House extension

Provided the demolition of interior walls, for the enlargement of the property, doesn’t imply structural changes (height of the house and number of floors) and stability, the facades and roof shape, it is not necessary to notify the City Council. In the case of living in a building you only have to submit a notice of works.


Construction of annex

You don’t need authorization to build and/or reorganize the exterior space, provided it doesn’t exceed the limits of 10m2 of area and 2.20m of height, doesn’t integrate a property subdivision and doesn’t limit the public road.


Placing solar panels or fixing the roof

If the solar panels do not exceed the coverage area, don’t exceed one meter in height and the roof presents the same condition as per its initial construction, it is not necessary to inform the City Council.


Change tiles and paint the house inside

Unless the house is listed (f or example, it is a property of local interest, located in a protected and historical area), no license is required for these changes.


Close the balcony

Do you want to close your balcony? For some municipalities a license is required, for others a mere prior communication is sufficient. The legal regime created the option of prior communication (comunicação prévia) which simplifies the administrative process, as it doesn’t involve licenses or authorizations. It only needs a responsibility term on the nature, deadline and participants involved in the work. On apartment buildings however, you must request authorization from the condominium with a two-third majority. This request is also applied if you want to place some kind of protection on the balconies as this might change the building's appearance.


Building a swimming pool

To build a swimming pool the same logic of the balcony applies, i.e., it is only essential to present a prior communication, accompanied by an architectural project and approval of the work will be automatic, and can start 20 days after delivery of the prior communication.


In spite of the absence of bureaucracies, it is necessary to comply with the laws in force, technical regulations and Territory and Urban Planning of which the works are subject or the work will be stopped.

According to the Government's plans to invest in urban rehabilitation, the works for which a license is now required are mostly limited to large projects: subdivisions, reconstructions of facades and alteration of the number of floors, demolition or alteration of listed or to be listed properties.


This simplification of the administrative processes associated to urbanism is an incentive for those seeking houses that need renovation. If you are one of those who dreams about this type of project, contact Casas do Barlavento to help you find that property with the potential you are looking for.